The Evolution of my Reading Taste + 2016 Reading Goals

The very beginning of 2015 was when my interest in reading became re-invigorated. I ended up reading 75 books this year! That’s so much more than I would have ever thought I could read. I smashed my Goodreads challenge goal of 52 books (1 book per week).

I have always liked to read, but when I was in school I mostly focused on studying and getting through school first and foremost. I would mostly read during summer break. After graduating, one day I ended up in a YouTube vortex (as we do) and somehow ended up on the Booktube side of the website. I did not know that there was this huge community where people talked about books. Seeing people so genuinely excited about books made me get excited, too.

In January 2015, I read the book Fangirl and after that I just kept on reading and reading and reading. Now I’m here.

At the beginning I really stuck with Young Adult Fiction. Over half of what I read this year was Young Adult. When I read those books at the time I really liked a lot of them, but I think if I read them now I would feel differently. I think I am just now figuring out what kind of books I really like. Towards the end of the year, the amount of YA books I was reading began to dwindle significantly.

It’s crazy to me how much my taste has evolved in just one year’s time. Nowadays, I am constantly reaching for psychological thrillers or crime/mystery books (mostly adult). I’m also beginning to delve into classics, non-fiction books and literary fiction. This isn’t to say that I’m not going to read anymore YA books, because I totally will. I still like YA and I am super thankful to the genre for pushing me back into reading. But I can tell that I won’t automatically reach for it the way I used to.

But enough of that! Let’s move onto my reading goals for 2016.

I have lots of books I haven’t read yet. I counted the other day and I have around 90-ish unread books on my shelf. Because of this…

1. I will participate in the READ MY OWN DAMN BOOKS challenge this year!

It’s exactly what it sounds like. You try to read as many of the books you own as humanly possible!

2. Get rid of the books I don’t care about.

This will be hard for me, but it needs to be done. I really want my shelves to be filled with books I love. I wish there was a bookstore that bought books around here. It seems you can only donate or get credit with the store (which I don’t need, let’s be honest). It’s really hard for me to part with pretty hardback books that are in perfect condition, even if I didn’t like them. I’m gonna try hard with this.

3. Do not buy any books until I’ve read them first.

Oh, man. This is really hard, too. As I said, I want shelves filled with books I care about. I will either have to borrow from a friend or the library if I want to read something new. And if I like it enough, ONLY THEN am I allowed to purchase it. This way, when I add it to my shelf, it won’t increase my TBR either!

4. Try not to go to the library TOO often.

If I’m always reading library books, it kind of defeats the purpose of doing the read my own damn books challenge. So I will try to limit my library trips, as well as the amount of books I check out. No specific numbers here, I will just try to use my head instead of letting my heart lead me to the checkout counter with 12 books in my basket. HAHA.

5. Focus on quality; not quantity!

This year I will not be setting a goal for the Goodreads reading challenge. I think a lot of times I get discouraged from reading long books because I am just thinking, “Wow, I could read 3 books in the time it takes me to read this one!” and that isn’t right. Honestly, my most favorite books I read this year were long and dense. There are lots of books out there I am missing out on if I am so pre-occupied with a reading challenge, so I decided not to do it this year. I want to focus on reading better quality books instead of a large quantity of books. I want to read more diversely and get out of my comfort zone even more.

So those are my reading goals for 2016! Will you be trying to do any of these? Let me know what your reading goals are in the comments!

Authors and Books I Want to Get Into in 2016!

I was thinking about what authors and books I see myself reading in 2016, so I thought I would just write a post about it! These aren’t in any particular order!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie Books

She is a Nigerian author and I have heard nothing but praise for her and her writing. I really wanted to jump into We Should All Be Feminists recently, but I heard that it’s best if you read all her work in order, so I want to do that in the new year!

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December Book Mail!

Just wanted to share some books I recently received with everyone! Plus I took such a beautiful photo in front of our Christmas tree and I feel like I need to post it everywhere, haha!

Find Her by Lisa Gardner and The Dinner by Herman Koch are both books I was sent for review, so you can look forward to hearing my thoughts on both of those. They are both suspense/thriller books (Surprise, surprise – Ha!).

I was on Instagram when I saw this mug that I really liked, but I felt like I couldn’t buy it because I’ve never even read anything by Kurt Vonnegut, lol. So of course I scurried on over to iBooks and read the sample of Breakfast of Champions. I was really into it from what I read so I bought it for like 3 bucks off Thrift Books!

Speaking of Thrift Books, I also got Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for really cheap on there. I remember reading this book when I was pretty young and liking it, but I have no recollection of what it’s about. Hope to get to read this one again soon!

So those are all the books I got in the mail recently. My family asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year and since I feel like I have all the big things I need (TV, Computer, Phone, Tablet, etc.) I just asked for them to get me as many books off my Amazon wishlist as possible! I will try to post a Christmas book haul at some point, but no promises. I’m bad at hauling large amounts of books, lol.

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a nice day!

Book Review | Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: Oh, the Insta-Love

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Pages: 368

Synopsis:

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Review:

So, you know that feeling you get when something could have been great, but then it wasn’t? I’m having that feeling right now. I actually enjoyed Isla and Josh as characters, and I liked them together. My main issues were with the progression of their relationship and the overall plot.

The first bit of this book was golden for me. It was super cute and some of Perkins’ scenes had me swooning and squealing, but when I look at the overall picture, it wasn’t enough for me to feel like the entire book was good. Isla mentions that she has liked Josh since Freshman year, but once they finally get together they are saying, “I love you” in record time. It was just too fast, in my opinion. They were too dependent, obsessive, and “can’t-live-without-you” for how long they had actually been a couple.

And we can’t just have a simple romance story, right? There has to be some kind of conflict that keeps them apart, but the conflict presented was such a non-issue. All the crying and wallowing and dramatics was too much and felt so forced.

I pretty much skimmed from the middle to the end of the book. I couldn’t handle it, lol. I’m sad because I liked Isla and Josh more than Anna and St. Clair or Lola and Cricket, but the plot for their story was so weak. It could have been so much better, but what can ya do? I would rate the books in this series as: Anna and the French Kiss >>>>>>> Lola and the Boy Next Door >>> Isla and the Happily Ever After. And I give Isla

2.5 Stars!

star-1    star-1    halfstar-1

Have you read this series? What did you think and how would you rank them?

Review | Sailor Moon Redbubble iPhone 6 Plus Tough Case

So, this is obviously not a post about books, but this is my blog and I can post what I want to! Mostly, I just want people to see my new phone case, lol. I actually looked for reviews on Redbubble’s tough cases and I did find a few, but there should be more out there! Hope this helps anyone out who wants to know what the cases are like before purchasing, so let’s get to it!

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